Local impact of U.S.-Mexico trade Agreement - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Local impact of U.S.-Mexico trade Agreement

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NBC Right Now- President Trump announced this past August a new preliminary agreement between the U.S. and Mexico called the United States Mexico Trade Agreement. The agreement still needs to be approved by congress but here locally Mexico is one of Washington's top markets for apples and pears. This new agreement would make trade a priority amongst the two. Here locally things would remain the same and the new agreement would not impact the current relationship. 

"Fortunately the local impact doesn't look like the agreement is going to do any harm to current success our growers are having with shipping product to that market," says Northwest Horticulture Council Vice President Kate Woods. As of right now this agreement is just between Mexico and the U.S. but negotiations are underway with Canada to move forward with a tri-lateral agreement. the N.W.H.C. hopes to have it signed by the end of the month. They are just waiting on Canada to sign it.    
 

This agreement is separate from the retaliatory tariffs in place on apples and cherries. Grower returns are still coming in from the 2018 cherry season but we know tariffs did cost local Northwest cherry growers a significant amount. Just this past season they're estimating costs were around $86 million dollars. Although apple season is just beginning, growers can expect to see a similar impact. Tariffs are estimated to impact growers by at least $129 million dollars. The Dept. of Agriculture is in the process of establishing programs to help growers impacted  by these costs.

"If assistance is being offered in a short term as a long term solution is being negotiated, tree fruit growers want to be a part of this conversation. They want to have access to some of these programs," says Woods. Details are still being worked out so none of these programs have been implemented. The Dept. of Agriculture hopes to try and help apple, cherry and pear growers in this area when the programs become available. 

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